Sunday, May 8, 2011

happy mother's day

Today on Mother's Day I'm thinking about how much of my cooking abilities and interests are because my mom also loved to cook.  I have often observed that I was never taught to do things like cut fruits and vegetables--I just sat and watched my mom.  I know how to make basic meals without a recipe the same way my mom did, which oftentimes I think she learned from her mom.  I hope I can pass that knowledge along someday.  I also give her credit for helping me develop my tastes in food.  She introduced me to different flavors from early on and set the ball rolling for me to expand my tastes more and more.   Cooking and eating are such a big part of my life and I enjoy sharing it with my mom still.  Thanks, Mom!


Orecchiette with Broccoli Rabe and Goat Cheese
from Serious Eats (I think there's a missing step in their recipe, so I've filled in the blanks below with what I did.)

1 lb broccoli rabe, chopped
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 tsp crushed red chile flakes
12 oz orecchiette (I can never find orecchiette at my grocery store, so I used a short-cut pasta that looked close enough.)
2 tbsp lemon zest
4 oz goat cheese, sliced 

Pour about 8 quarts of water into a large pot, add a few tablespoons of salt, and bring it to a boil. Toss in the broccoli rabe and cook for 4 minutes. Remove it with a pair of tongs and immediately toss it in some ice water. Chill for a few minutes then drain and pat dry.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute 1-2 minutes until garlic is just golden.  Add the broccoli rabe and cook 3-5 minutes until stalks are tender and the leaves wilted.

Meanwhile, bring the pot of water back to a boil and cook the orecchiette according to the directions on the box. Taste the pasta with a minute left on the timer. If al dente, turn off the heat, drain the pasta, and transfer it to the skillet. Turn the heat to high, add the lemon zest, and season with salt. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly.

Transfer the pasta to bowls or plates. Add a bit of goat cheese to each one. Serve.

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